Ask frequent travelers what cities are cheap to visit and chances are you won't get the same answer. Different needs for different people, but there are common denominators that everyone can agree on.
One must be able to quantify the daily cost of traveling in a metropolis. Let's assume it will be your first time, then a short list of places of interests you like to see. Don't forget the place to stay in, which is likely of budget range. Add transportation rides, meals, and drinks and then you have the precise figure.
It's not surprising that many cities in southeast Asia are on the top of the list. After the publication of Alex Garland's "The Beach" (1996), hordes of tourists go and come back. Furthermore, accommodation can be less than 10 US dollars.
So here we have for you, some the most beautiful cities you can visit even if you are on a shoestring budget.
Average per day: US $15.88
Must-see sites: Hoàn Ki?m Lake is the main attraction, a nice spot to stroll around after dusk. Temple of Literature and Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum allow visitors a peek into the country's momentous past. Indulge in a shopping spree at ??ng Xuân Market for some trinkets, souvenirs, clothes, and whatnot. Then cap your day with a tour of the Old Quarters, with your fellow travelers sampling the local food and you definitely have a vacation to remember.
Average per day: US $17.66
Must-see sites: Thailand's second largest city is located in the northern region. It may be smaller to Bangkok in terms of land area, but it has no shortage of interests. A day can be spent on temple hopping, with the gorgeous Wat Phra That Doi Suthep as the first stop in your itinerary. Then go to Doi Inthanon, the highest peak in the country. It is turned into a national park, with waterfalls and gardens to make your trip unforgettable. Don't forget to ride on an elephant.
Ho Chi Minh
Average per day: US $18.27
Must-see sites: The Independent Palace is the starting point, housing items dating back to the country's republic days. A few blocks away is the Post Office, designed by no less than Gustave Eiffel. The Saigon Notre-Dame Basilica is right in front, a reminder of her colonial years. A past like no other. With it's interesting sites and rich cultural background, it's a destination worth your time.
Average per day: US $26.62
Must-see sites: This resort town is the gateway to the Khmer region, once the center of an empire that flourished from the 9th to the 15th centuries. Angkor Wat, the largest religious monument in the world, is worth spending hours for its architectural designs and carvings. Then go to Angkor Thom, the last and most enduring city of the Khmer Empire. Bayon, the most decorated temple in that area, is a head turner.
Average per day: US $ 27.14
Must-see sites: The island's coastlines keep on luring visitors from different parts of the world. There are temples to check, like Pura Taman Ayun, but the beach beckons. So if you are a certified beach fanatic who wants to have bask under the glorious sunshine while getting your tan, then you should definitely check out Bali.
Average per day: US $ 28.16
Must-see sites: The imprint of Spanish culture is evident here, like the Magellan Cross and Basilica Minore del Sto. Niño. The Cebu Taoist Temple, located in Beverly Hills Subdivision, has spacious balconies that offer a panoramic view of the downtown. But it's Tops, at Barangay Busay, that will leave you speechless with a breathtaking view of the city and surroundings. This is one vibrant city you should include in your vacation list.
Be sure to check in early for your flights; with the increase in travel the lines are often long in immigration and security check points.
Make way for the new kids on the block.
During a meeting in Doha, Qatar on June 15, the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) World Heritage Committee announced a new list of places of natural and cultural importance.
The 2014 new heritage sites include 26 new inscriptions and 4 extensions. Below are some of the places you might want to check out, the next time you are looking at hauling your backpack and trying on a different kind of travel adventure.
Silk Roads: the Routes Network of Chang'an-Tianshan Corridor
Countries: China, Kazakhstan, Krygztan
Why Visit: Merchants traveled this road once, linking the West and East back then. Goods weren't the only ones being traded, but also technologies, religions, and philosophies. Civilizations rose along the way, notably in China. You don't need to be a historian to appreciate the importance of Silk Road back then, as it offers a panorama of majestic peaks and stunning temples stretching thousands of kilometers.
Mount Hamiguitan Range Wildlife Sanctuary
Why Visit: This mountain is declared a wildlife sanctuary in 2003, but its main attraction is the pygmy forest. It occupies 225 hectares, the bonsai trees believed to be around hundred years old. If this is not good enough to pique your curiosity the country's 7,107 islands will definitely have something good in store you. Imagine the possibilities of diverse topography - limestone cliffs, tropical beaches, mountain ranges - and rich flora and fauna.
Ancient Maya City and Protected Tropical Forests of Calakmul, Campeche
Why Visit: Mangroves and cenote can be found in this picturesque region, part of the Yucatan Peninsula. Calakmul, one of the most powerful Maya cities, can be found within the jungle. Thousands of structures are still in good condition, but the pyramid, one of the tallest Maya pyramids, is not to be missed.
Trang An Landscape Complex
Why Visit: Tam C?c-Bích ??ng, one of the main features of this scenic area, became famous after the release of the Academy Award-winning film, "Indochine". The gorgeous karst towers keep on luring tourists, but within these rocks are temples dating back to the tenth and eleventh centuries. They are part of Hoa L?, the capital of Vietnam during that time.
Country: South Korea
Why Visit: This serene park, standing on the Namhansan, is once a fortress against the Chinese. It played an important role during the Manchu invasions of Korea. Nowadays, visitors go there to catch a glimpse of Seoul, the national capital. The wide view can take your breath away.
These sites barely scratch the surface. You can view the complete list of UNESCO New world heritage sites here.
Get your passports and wallets ready, and invite your friends along as you explore these cultural and natural wonders.